Going to Med School—Yesterday and Today

Genomics. Statins. Targeted Biopharmaceuticals. PET (Positron Emission Tomography). The world of medical treatments never stands still—and the same is true for going to medical school.

As What Medical Schools Are Doing Now That They Weren’t 20 Years Ago notes, a physician who graduated years ago might be surprised at the curriculum of today’s med student in which classes on medical ethics carry equal weight with those on anatomy and pharmacology.

Yes, today’s med students are trained in interpreting the various symptoms of disease, but they are just as likely to get trained in biostatics and evidence-based medicine. And while they are tested on their ability to assimilate vast quantities of information, today’s med students are also evaluated on their progress in developing an effective bedside manner.  All of that is a big difference from what medical school was like in the past.

Finally, a physician trained years ago might be surprised by the experiences of today’s medical residents: Instead of being on call almost around the clock, regulations now limit a resident’s weekly workload to 80 hours.

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